PM Shinzo Abe of the LDP is re-elected to serve the third term as the president of the ruling party

PM Shinzo Abe of the LDP is re-elected to serve the third term as the president of the ruling party

Chika Mori and Kanako Itamae

Modern Tokyo Times

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the clear favorite to be re-elected the president of the ruling LDP and he duly obliged. Hence, Abe will serve a third term consecutively after defeating a spirited Shigeru Ishiba. Therefore, continuity will remain under Abe but he still knows that the rank and file of party members is more evenly divided – rather than lawmakers in the Japanese Diet who overwhelmingly voted for Abe.

Factionalism once more played into the hands of Abe over Ishiba because he doesn’t carry the same political clout. This meant that Taro Aso, Hiroyuki Hosoda, Nobuteru Ishihara, Fumio Kishida, and Toshihiro Nikai all plumbed for Abe. Ishiba, understanding the power of political factionalism in the body politic of Japan, knew that he faced a mountain to climb against Abe but he still gave it his best shot.

Interestingly, unlike lawmakers who overwhelmingly supported Abe, the rank and file of party members listened to both Abe and Ishiba from a more neutral stance. The result of this was that Abe won 224 votes to 181 for Ishiba. Hence, Abe knows that discontent exists in other areas of the political system and that the rank and file of party members is more evenly balanced – even if he still came out on top.

After emerging victorious, Abe stipulated, “I will put all my strength and soul into fulfilling my duty.”

Abe continued by stating, It’s now time to tackle a revision to the Constitution.”

USA Today sums up the situation, this media source reports, Experts see a margin of victory in regional member votes as a more accurate indicator of general public sentiment than the parliamentarian votes. Abe’s weaker showing in that segment means he will have to be more mindful of their voices in carrying out his policies.”

Overall, Abe is clearly delighted to be re-elected and he will focus on areas that mean so much to him, like the Constitution. Yet, Abe must try to connect with the rank and file of party members – and the electorate – because outside the factional world of the Japanese Diet, it is clear that the people of Japan are more divided.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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